Difference between Drupal and Joomla

Whenever a PHP developer starts to explore open source CMS (Content Management System) one will always start with Drupal and Joomla. Both the CMS are very popular, appreciated, robust and extendible. Still one will have to decide whether to go with Drupal or Joomla to build specific website.

Many times I am also asked with the same question by clients or other developers and I always reply that it’s always advisable to decide based upon the requirement of the project. Both the CMS are distinct and have got unique specialities.

Below I am mentioning few points that I found are difference between Joomla and Drupal

  • Joomla has got better Administrative control panel, while in Drupal there is nothing like adminstrative panel, when you login as an admin you will find more controls and more menus.
  • The design part is better in Joomla. The sites built in Joomla will look better with lesser efforts. Many beautiful, attractive templates are available for Joomla.
  • To build complex and scalable site I would prefer Drupal because it has got hundreds of readymade modules plus it's relatively easy to build complex functionalities in Drupal.
  • A new beginner might find it easy to work with Joomla rather then Drupal but many of the developers/programmers lean to Drupal after they get enough familiarity with both.
  • In Drupal, PHP code can be written on pages or any content you are creating. In joomla this facility isn't available. If you want to add code then you will have to edit the component files.
  • Content categorization is lot better in Drupal then Joomla. I found only 2 level of content categorization in Joomla that is not at all sufficient for any content based site. May be additional component might offer categorization of content in Joomla but in Drupal it is very nicely managed by Taxonomy Module (available with Drupal core).
  • Joomla has got in built WYSIWYG editor for content adding/editing while in Drupal you have to install WYSIWYG editor as a module.
  • Regarding performance, I would say that it will depend a lot on how big your site is and in what manner have you configured your server and your CMS (Drupal/Joomla).
  • Community is much more helpful in Drupal rather then Joomla. You will find help/support very faster in Drupal forums.

So here is what I think about Drupal and Joomla. Please let me know what are your opinions regarding both. Please add your views in comment.


I started using Joomla back when I created my first site. Seemed there was more capability as well as support than Drupal back around 2005.

I was more concerned about CMS delivery than additional structure or tailoring in individual pages/posts. If someone were developing a site with multiple parties involved handling content as well as infrastructure, then I could see where Drupal would be a better choice.

You are absolutely correct. I was able to understand from my previous experiences that Joomla is easy for Dummies Drupal is for advanced developers.

I started working in joomla long back in 2009 or so. I find it fascinating initially from user point of view but later found that underlying architecture is something where joomla surely get set back.

I then move to drupal. A little scary and hard in beginning to understand terminology and bunch of arrays and object in coding but later i found much much powerful, stable and scale able compare to joomla.

Then now, I am working in drupal and yes still learning it.

Yes Nehal, Many developers find the same thing while starting with Drupal and Joomla. The learning curve is difficult in Drupal but most of the developers inclined to it as they find the structure and support more powerful.

Well, I havent used Joomla, so wont mention it (as a bad option).
But, what makes drupal better is -
- The extensive module support
- The increasing design (theme) availability
- Modules likes views & taxonomy to play with content
- Modules like CCK to easily create content types
- Gr8 SEO support modules.

thats just getting started with drupal. Drupal rocks...

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